Addena Sumter-Freitag is a 7th generation African Canadian. She was born in St. Boniface, grew up in Winnipeg's North End, and has lived all across Canada.
Currently she says “I live in East Vancouver because, I love the swirls of color in the paint of its people, and the music of languages that play in the air. The neighbourhood’s vibrancy and diversity remind me of Winnipeg's North End, so it feels like home.” She shares a household with her husband Irvin and daughter April. "No dogs, no cats, no fish, and only plants that understand water is a rare treat."
Besides her big and extended family, the stage is Addena’s true love, followed closely by story and poetry performance, which she has been involved in for the past 25 years, performing across Canada and in Australia.
Addena has become a familiar face and voice in Vancouver’s poetry and storytelling community, performing at the Vancouver Storytelling Festival, Vancouver Spoken Word Festival, The World Poetry Reading Series, and Vancouver’s Women’s Film Festival.
Addena loves to challenge ‘form’ in order to bring her stories, characters, and worlds alive, inviting you love them, hate them, Identify with them, or wonder at them.
“I love to make my audience laugh, and encourage them to cry, whatever the musical and composition of the language compels them to feel.”
Her book, Stay Black & Die, published by Commodore Books, has been included in the English curriculum reading lists at UBC, Emily Carr, Vanier College: Montreal, and Women’s studies, UBC.
Check out her interview on Live On the Drive on YouTube: